Current LLL-smtx Courses

LifeLong Learning offers a variety of courses in fine arts, studio arts, history, the environment, and topics of local interest.  The courses are offered with the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department at the San Marcos Activity Center and the Cephas House.  Both locations offer free and convenient parking.  We also offer courses with the San Marcos Public Library and the Price Center.  We hope you find something of interest.  If not, check back later for our next list of offerings. Please see the schedule below.

Life-Long Learning Courses

Held in the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department’s 50+ Program       

January to March 2020

**Registration Required** 
To register, please contact the San Marcos Activity Center by phone: (512) 393-8280; in person at the Activity Center; or online at:
(Note:  You will need to search for “LLL” classes online.)

Note: check location for each course.

At the Cephas House, 217 W. MLK Drive, San Marcos, TX

1) Painting an Allegory in Oil


Where:   Cephas House (217 West MLK)  
When:     Fridays Jan 10, 17, 24, 31, Feb 7, 14                                          
Time:      10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Fee:         Cost: $50

Course Description             
Using animal forms, landscapes, plant forms, still-life objects, and/or figurative imagery, you will build an allegorical painting over six weeks.  An allegory is a metaphor in which a character, place or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences.  In artwork, the elements that form the composition are used to symbolize a deeper moral or spiritual meaning such as life, death, love, virtue, justice, etc.


Course Goals
Developing a concept, collecting imagery, composing with the rule of thirds, setting up your palette, transferring the image, toning the surface, underpainting, blocking in color, glazing, and developing detail for a finished painting.

Painting Surface Choices 
Canvas paper pad, ARCHES oil paper pad, gessoed panel, or canvas board, *12”x16” *approximate size relative to the brand you buy

Brushes  Probably a #6 or #8 made in the USA. 
1 synthetic filbert brush for oil (.5 inch at ferule and 1” long)
1 synthetic flat brush for oil (.5 inch at ferule and 1” long)
1 sable or synthetic sable round brush for watercolor (.25 inch at   ferule and 1” long)
1 Natural Bristle Chip Brush 1” (hog bristle)
There's not much consistency between brush manufacturers. Take a tape measure.

Use professional-quality paints if you can. The student grade paints have a much lower pigment load. *Use cadmium hues if you wish instead of real cadmium pigments.                
cadmium yellow hue
yellow ochre
cadmium red hue or naphtha scarlet alizarin crimson
ultramarine blue
burnt umber
titanium white (PW 6)

Additional Supplies

masonite board big enough to hold 12x16 painting surface, paper towels, metal palette knife, 2B pencil, pencil sharpener, vinyl eraser, 3M painter’s tape, toned palette 9x12 or larger, Gamblin solvent free fluid medium or Gamblin non-toxic gel medium, jar of safflower oil for cleaning brushes, refined linseed oil, 12x16 tracing paper
*Access to the internet and a printer

RECOMMENDED: Gloves In A Bottle or other Hand Barrier Shielding Lotion.

Instructor: Roxana Tuff, a metal smith and illustrator who holds a BFA in Painting and Drawing and a MFA in Painting. She has taught in the art studio area at Texas State for 14 years and for Life-Long Learning since its inception.



At The San Marcos Activity Center

1) Survival Spanish

Where:    San Marcos Activity Center                                                  
When:     Monday and Wednesdays: Jan 13, 15, 22, 23, (a Thursday as the
                Activity Center is closed on Jan 20), 27, 29, and Feb 3 & 5 
Time:       1:30 to 2:30 PM     ,                                         
 Fee:         Cost: $40.00

Course Description                                                   

Survival Spanish is a beginning conversational Spanish course, but is also helpful for intermediate Spanish speakers.  No previous knowledge of Spanish is required. Students can anticipate a relaxed and enjoyable learning environment. Content is relevant, progresses slowly, and is repetitive enough to ensure student success.

Presented by Seth Worley who earned his BA in Spanish with honors from Texas State and has been teaching Survival Spanish to adults for 40 years. He has lived, worked, and studied in nine Latin American countries, often working as a professional translator. His teaching philosophy is simple: language learning is successful when it is practical and fun.

2) Your Personal Universe: Learn to See the Universe Differently

     Part I: A Jaunt Through Physics to 1913

Where:            San Marcos Activity Center
When:             (5) Tuesdays:  Jan. 14, 21, 28 and Feb. 4 & 11
Time:               1:00 to 3:00 PM
Fee:                 $25.00

Course Description

This five-session course is Part One of a two-part hands-on journey through the physics of particles and interactions, energy and information, and your experience of our Earth, Sun, Moon, and the Universe. We hope this course will enhance your experiences of daily life!
Presented by Russell Doescher, a retired Texas State Senior Lecturer in physics and faculty director of the observatory at Texas State. He has extensive experience in teaching conceptually (without a lot of math!). Additionally, he has worked with his colleague, Dr. Don Olson, to unravel many mysteries of time and place found in art, history, and literature through the use of their unique form of astronomy: celestial sleuthing.   

3) Genealogy: Learn How to Research Your Ancestors Using Maps and Land Records

Where:            San Marcos Activity Center
When:             (4) Wednesdays:  Jan. 15, 22, 29 and Feb. 5
Time:               10:00 to 11:30 AM
Fee:                 $40.00
Course Description
This course begins with a review of timelines and spreadsheets to help you identify a starting point on a historical map where your ancestors once resided.
Using deeds and historical maps go hand-in-hand when you are researching your ancestors. The next three classes will examine how to use the deed index and learn the common terminology. Following that, you will learn how to read and decipher the genealogical data found within the body of the land deed.
Land deeds are a rich genealogical source and one of the oldest genealogical record groups to pursue. The goal of this class is to help you develop confidence to walk into any county courthouse deed department and do genealogy research or research on the internet. By the end of this course you will have increased your knowledge and added an additional resource to strengthen genealogy results. This class is interactive, so you are welcome to bring a laptop or tablet to use. You will be provided with a weekly outline of the topics and resources.
Presented by Cindy Foreman who has been teaching and giving presentations on genealogy for the past 20 years in the central Texas area. She has a degree in History Education and has been past-president of the Austin Genealogy Society and past-vice president of the Wimberley Valley Genealogy Society. In 2014 she was one of the speakers at the National Genealogy Conference in San Antonio called FGS. She is involved with a genealogy special interest group called IGG (Interactive Genealogy Group) and continues to do presentations and work on her own family genealogy.


4)  Chemistry in the Kitchen

Where:            San Marcos Activity Center
When:             (6) Thursdays: Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27; March 5 and 12
Time:               10:00 to 11:30 AM
Fee:                 $25.00
Course Description
Like everything on earth other than pure substances such as gold, silver and diamonds, foods are mixtures of different chemicals.  In the kitchen the qualities of taste, aroma, color, texture, and nutritional value that we aim to produce are all manifestations of chemical properties.
This 6-week course will cover (a) the four basic food molecules (water, proteins, fats and carbohydrates), (b) milk and dairy products, (c) eggs, (d) meat, (e) fish and shellfish, and (f) edible plants: fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices.  At the end of each class “Tid Bits” will be shared...not edible!
The pace of the class and actual content covered will depend on the participants’ questions, interests, and “food science acumen”. 
Presented by Marianne Reese
who has degrees in chemistry and biology (BS), marine ecology (MS), and Educational Leadership (PhD).  She has taught at the high school level and in multiple universities, and she is a former superintendent of public schools.


5) "Remember the Ladies" : A Brief History of Women in America Before 1920

Where:            San Marcos Activity Center
When:             (4) Wednesdays:  March 4, 11, 18, and 25            
Time:                2:00 to 3:15 PM
Fee:                  $40.00


Course Description  
On March 31, 1776, Abigail Adams wrote her husband John Adams the following: “...remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could.”

The month of March is Women’s History Month, and it is well that all of us should remember the women of America who helped to form our country. This course will focus on American women in four distinct periods of history. First, women in the Revolutionary era; second, the Seneca Falls Convention and Declaration of Sentiments in 1848; third, women during the Civil War; and, fourth, women as reformers in the Progressive Era.

This is not a course for women, but rather a course about women. Hopefully, some men will elect to join us.

Presented by Jo Snider, a retired member of the Department of History, Texas State University. She was adjunct faculty on the Multi-Cultural and Gender Studies Program in addition to her role in the History Department where she specialized in teaching the large lecture classes of the introductory history courses. She retired in 2001, but retains her connections to the department as a senior member of the retired faculty. Her husband calls her the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the department. Snider is the author of Claiming Sunday: The Story of a Texas Slave Community published in 2018.

LifeLong Learning Organization, San Marcos, TX, 2018       Dr. Marianne Reese, Director    512-216-6427